Baseball: Sandburg’s Matt Shiminis wins it with a walk-off
Updated: April 10, 2012 8:34PM
At first glance, it appeared Sandburg’s Matt Shiminis was hit by the pitch from Lincoln-Way North’s Bo Venezio with the bases loaded and the score tied at 4 in the bottom of the seventh inning of Tuesday’s game.
It would have meant an instant Eagles victory.
Shiminis, however, never flinched. The ball, well, at least most of it, struck the knob of Shiminis’ bat, making it a foul ball.
Shiminis, though, didn’t even try to sell a little white lie to the home-plate umpire.
“I probably could have played that off that I was hit by the pitch,” Shiminis said. “It did glance off my pinkie. But I wanted to hit.”
Hit he did moments later, muscling a single through a drawn-in infield for the game-winning hit and a 5-4 win over visiting Lincoln-Way North in a SouthWest Suburban crossover.
The win was the sixth in a row for the No. 14 Eagles (9-2-1).
“We were talking to each other about how he should have tried to at least try to sell it like he was hit,” Sandburg coach Jim Morsovillo said with a big smile. “Matt really competes up there. He fought off a couple of pitches and got the big hit.”
Shiminis’ single made a winner of Colin Shelhamer, who pitched 31/3 innings of one-hit relief. The right-hander struck out three.
“Colin throws strikes, gets ahead of hitters and keeps the ball down in the zone,” Morsovillo said. “He did a really nice job.”
One bad inning pretty much doomed No. 12 North (9-4), which has lost two straight. The Eagles scored four runs in the third, compliments of two errors and three walks by the Phoenix. Sandburg recorded just two hits in the inning, but they were big ones: a run-scoring single by Dave Cronin and two-run double by Dan Rizzie.
Other than that, North starter Mike Miller tamed an offense that had scored 53 runs in its previous three games. He allowed just three hits and struck out seven in five innings.
North scored three runs in the fourth against Sandburg starter Christian Meeuwes to erase a 4-1 advantage. Bases-loaded walks to Corey Krupske and Ryan Pellack forced in runs and Mike Irace contributed an RBI single to forge a 4-all tie.